How Much is the Salary of NHL Coaches? 

How much does NHL coaches make

If you were wondering, what is the salary of an NHL coach? This article is for you. Although it is easier to know the salary of an NHL player, it is not the same with coaches. That is because the salary of hockey coaches does not get reported, at least officially.

How much is the salary of NHL coaches? Hockey coaches receive between $1 million to $5 million annually. The coaches sign a contract for a particular period and get paid for the complete deal even after they get sacked. 

As I said earlier, the NHL coaches’ salaries are not officially public. So, this post will give you a good insight into how the salary of NHL coaches works. 

How much do NHL coaches get paid?

NHL coaches are well paid, as you might expect. The highest-paid NHL coaches make a lot more than you might expect, though, making close to $1 million a year.  

They make more than NFL and MLB coaches, and they also make more than the average income of people in Canada.

NHL coaches salary structure

NHL coaches are paid a salary that is split into two components:

  • Base salary – base salaries don’t fluctuate, but they depend on a few factors, including how long the coach has been with their current team and how many years are left on their NHL coaching contract.
  • Bonuses – bonuses are more variable because they depend on the team’s performance. Bonuses may be included in an NHL coaching contract if you’re contracted for a short time or if your team is in rebuilding mode or having financial difficulty.

Who is the highest-paid NHL coach per year?

According to Sportrac, Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper leads all NHL coaches in annual salary with $1.5 million. That puts him at number 11 overall among all coaches and managers across all major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA). 

The top three earning professional sports coaches/managers are basketball’s Gregg Popovich ($11 million), football’s Bill Belichick ($10.5 million), and football’s Pete Carroll ($8 million).

Basketball dominates the list, with seven out of the top ten coaching salaries coming from that sport.

Who Is the highest-paid NHL coach per contract?

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville just signed a three-year extension to pay him $6 million. In 10 NHL seasons, he’s won three Stanley Cups and has made the playoffs in all but one year — his first year with the St. Louis Blues.

What Is The average salary of a National Hockey League coach per year?

The NHL is the highest level of professional ice hockey in North America, consisting of 30 teams located in Canada and the United States. 

The average salary for a National Hockey League coach is $2.2 million over their contract period. Each team has a head coach who leads practices and oversees game strategy during games. 

Coaches work under general managers who oversee all aspects of player personnel decisions such as trades, signings, and drafting of new players. GMs also set budgets for player salaries within their organizations.

NHL coaches get paid a lot of money.

When compared to their players’ income, it’s easy to see why people would assume that coaches aren’t compensated as handsomely.

A quick look at most team salary cap pages proves otherwise. When compared to other sports, it’s clear that NHL coaches are rewarded for their efforts in the form of lucrative contracts.

The lowest-paid head coach in the NHL is Alain Vigneault, who made $2 million while coaching the New York Rangers.

In contrast, the highest-paid coach was Barry Trotz, who made $6 million a year coaching the Washington Capitals when he led them to their Stanley Cup win in 2018 (Trotz has since signed with the New York Islanders for $4 million per year).

While these salaries may seem high compared to average salaries in Canada, which is approximately $50,000 per year, hockey head coaches have an extensive knowledge base and years of experience with hockey at all levels across Canada and beyond and are considered professionals by most standards.

Who Is The Least Paid Coach In The NHL?

The least paid coach earns $550k per season. The least paid coach is Todd Nelson, the interim head coach of the Detroit Red Wings. He has been coaching in the NHL since the 2016-2017 season. His record as a head coach is 11-11-4 for a .500 winning percentage. 

His experience includes being a head coach for 4 seasons in other leagues (AHL and KHL), with nine years spent coaching those leagues and eight years spent playing professional hockey (NHL and AHL). He has an undergraduate degree in arts from Michigan State University. However, the common salary of an NHL coach is $1 million per year.

Coaches in their first year of coaching make less than $700k on average.

Beginning coaches will be paid significantly less than the most experienced NHL coaches.

Although most experienced coaches make more than $1 million, first-year coaches only make half as much at $693,250.

Most experienced coaches exceed one million dollars per season.

Being a head coach in the NHL requires extensive experience and skills. The most experienced coaches exceed one million dollars per season, while less experienced coaches make $500,000 to $700,000.

The top-paid head coaches are Mike Babcock of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Alain Vigneault of the New York Rangers, Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals, and Todd McLellan of the Edmonton Oilers.

The most experienced and successful NHL coaches earn more than $1 million annually

The average salary for head coaches in the NHL is $1.5 million. While some head coaches make less than $1 million, the most experienced and successful head coaches earn more than $1 million annually, some of them earning over $2 million every year.

To give you an idea of how much money is earned by head coaches in the NHL, here are a few examples:

  • Barry Trotz is one of the highest-paid coaches with a salary of $5 million. He coached The Washington Capitals to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 2018 and was named Coach of the Year by The Sporting News in 2016.
  • Mike Babcock is also on this list of high earners with a salary of $2.75 million. He ended his tenure as coach of The Toronto Maple Leafs after winning only one playoff series during his four-year contract with them but has since been hired as head coach for The University of Saskatchewan’s men’s hockey team, where he will reportedly also be making over $2 million per year.

NHL coaches Salary (Salary Tracker)

The National Hockey League is one of the most well-known professional sports leagues globally, so it’s no surprise that the coaches who lead their teams to victory are getting paid big bucks. Here are the top 5 highest paid NHL coaches:

  1. Joel Quenneville (Florida Panthers) – $6.0 million per year
  2. Todd McLellan (Los Angeles Kings) – $5 million per year
  3. Alain Vigneault  (Philadelphia Flyers) – $5 million per year
  4. Alain Nasredinne (New York Islanders) – $5 million per year
  5. Claude Julien (Boston Bruins) – $5 million per year

Wrapping Up

The coaches of NHL teams go home with a good amount of cash. Although a few managers earn as low as $550 000, others can get 10 times more.

They also sign around 5 years contracts with their teams but might sometimes spend less than that time. Nevertheless, they get paid for the duration of the contract. 

So, I believe you know how much the salary of NHL coaches is along with the highest and lowest paid salaries. 

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Dustin Jeffery

Hey there, I'm Jeff Dustin! I've been playing hockey for 12 years, and I'm so glad to be here talking to you about my love for the sport.

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